The Stooges

From Academic Kids

Missing image
The Stooges' 1969 debut
Not to be confused with The Three Stooges.

The Stooges (1968–75) were a rock music band in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Stooges—like The Velvet Underground—sold rather few records and performed for indifferent or hostile audiences, but are often regarded as hugely influential both on the then-nascent heavy metal music and on later punk rock (see protopunk). Singer Iggy Pop was often the focus of attention.

Pop played in several Ann Arbor, Michigan-area bands, including The Prime Movers and The Iguanas. Iggy Pop was inspired to form the Stooges after a Doors concert. Ron (guitar) and Scott Asheton (drums), two brothers, joined up along with Dave Alexander (bass guitar). Their debut was at a Halloween concert at the University of Michigan in 1967.

The band soon gained a reputation for wild, primitive live performances. Iggy especially won fame for acting crazy onstage, smearing his naked chest with steak and peanut butter, and cutting himself with shards of glass. At one concert, he played a vacuum cleaner like a musical instrument. Pop is sometimes credited with the invention or popularization of stage diving.

In 1968, the Stooges were signed by Elektra Records, who had sent a scout to see MC5 and wound up signing both acts. (That scout, Danny Fields, would later go on to discover and manage The Ramones.)

1969 saw the release of a self-titled debut album, but it did not sell very well. By the time Fun House (1970) was released, the Stooges had begun to disintegrate, primarily due to heavy drug use by the entire band.

With the band in limbo, Iggy met David Bowie in 1972 and the pair became good friends. Bowie, then at the height of his Ziggy Stardust-era fame, helped the reconstituted Stooges score a record deal with Columbia Records and then produced their third album, the massively influential Raw Power (1973). This album would go on to become one of the cornerstones of early punk rock, though the album was sold rather poorly and was regarded as a commercial failure.

The Stooges disbanded, and Iggy Pop began a solo career in 1976 and (most influentially with 1977's The Idiot and Lust for Life). The Asheton brothers formed a band named New Order (not to be confused with the English band of the same name), which quickly fell apart. Ron Asheton joined Destroy All Monsters, while James Williamson worked with Iggy Pop during his early solo career.

Lester Bangs was especially fond of Iggy and the Stooges, and championed them in many of his magazine columns.

The Stooges reunited in 2003, appearing on the Skull Ring album with Iggy on vocals, Scott Asheton on drums, and Ron Asheton on both guitar and bass. The Stooges have performed a series of live shows in the United States and Europe with Mike Watt of The Minutemen and fIREHOSE on bass completing the lineup. Their Detroit homecoming show, postponed by a blackout, was immortalized on the DVD Live In Detroit. They have since contributed a cover of Junior Kimbrough's "You Better Run" to a tribute album for the late blues artist, and are planning to record an album of all-new material for 2006 release with Rick Rubin producing.





  • I Wanna Be Your Dog, 1969
  • Down On The Street/I Feel Alright (1970), 1970
    • The version of "Down On The Street" on this single features overdubbed organ.
  • Search And Destroy, 1973


External links

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